Expo will focus on mental health, suicide prevention
A Community Help Expo: Navigating Behavioral Health and Suicide will be held Nov. 12 at the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center, 9055 Airport Road in Conroe.
The expo is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Behavioral Health and Suicide Prevention, BHSP, Task Force of Montgomery County in collaboration with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Financial support for the event is being provided through a grant from the Rebuild Texas Fund.
Attendance can be either in person or virtual. Due to in-person capacity limitations, participants should register in advance.
Resources shared at the fair will be specific to the Montgomery County area, but expo coordinators said the community conversation sessions, discussion panel and keynote speaker presentations will address universal mental health issues and can be attended virtually by all interested Texans.
Expo agenda and objective
Doors for the event open at 1 p.m. for in-person attendance and virtual presentations will be from 1:30-7:30 p.m.
Breakout sessions in chronological order will be:
- Mental Health in the World of COVID-19.
- Trauma Informed Care/Trust-Based Relational Interaction for Parents.
- How to Have Tough Conversations with Your Teen About Depression and Suicide.
- Talk Saves Lives.
At 5:30 p.m., there will be a panel discussion on behavioral health and suicide prevention along with a BHSP celebration and call for volunteers.
At 6:30 p.m., there will be a presentation by keynote speaker Kevin Hines, who will speak about his own experience in surviving an attempt at taking his own life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge.
There also will be an art exhibit and resource fair in the expo center foyer during the event.
“The Community Help Expo is designed to bring awareness to mental health issues to all residents of Texas who are interested,” said Meredith Carter, AgriLife Extension program specialist for the 4-H youth development unit and one of the leaders for the Rebuild Texas Mental Health First Aid grant.
“Our hope is to help people understand if they are struggling with mental health or know someone who is, that recovery can be possible. There are lots of mental health resources available, and we want to highlight what they are.”
Carter noted that along with allowing the BHSP Task Force and AgriLife Extension to host this event, the grant from the Rebuild Texas Fund will also fund the presentation of Mental Health First Aid classes in all 41 counties affected by Hurricane Harvey. Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course in which participants learn about mental health and substance-use issues.